Assessment of the core and support functions of the integrated disease surveillance and response system in Zanzibar, Tanzania
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- Assessment of the core and support functions of the integrated disease surveillance and response system in Zanzibar, Tanzania
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BACKGROUND: Disease surveillance is a cornerstone of outbreak detection and control. Evaluation of a disease surveillance system is important to ensure its performance over time. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of the core and support functions of the Zanzibar integrated disease surveillance and response (IDSR) system to determine its capacity for early detection of and response to infectious disease outbreaks.
METHODS: This cross-sectional descriptive study involved 10 districts of Zanzibar and 45 public and private health facilities. A mixed-methods approach was used to collect data. This included document review, observations and interviews with surveillance personnel using a modified World Health Organization generic questionnaire for assessing national disease surveillance systems.
RESULTS: The performance of the IDSR system in Zanzibar was suboptimal particularly with respect to early detection of epidemics. Weak laboratory capacity at all levels greatly hampered detection and confirmation of cases and outbreaks. None of the health facilities or laboratories could confirm all priority infectious diseases outlined in the Zanzibar IDSR guidelines. Data reporting was weakest at facility level, while data analysis was inadequate at all levels (facility, district and national). The performance of epidemic preparedness and response was generally unsatisfactory despite availability of rapid response teams and budget lines for epidemics in each district. The support functions (supervision, training, laboratory, communication and coordination, human resources, logistic support) were inadequate particularly at the facility level.
CONCLUSIONS: The IDSR system in Zanzibar is weak and inadequate for early detection and response to infectious disease epidemics. The performance of both core and support functions are hampered by several factors including inadequate human and material resources as well as lack of motivation for IDSR implementation within the healthcare delivery system. In the face of emerging epidemics, strengthening of the IDSR system, including allocation of adequate resources, should be a priority in order to safeguard human health and economic stability across the archipelago of Zanzibar.
|Tidsskrift||BMC Public Health|
|Status||Udgivet - 17 apr. 2021|
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